CPI

Bill Clinton Confirms "Wants Economic Role" In Hillary's Administration

Is this why stocks are slipping? Following Hillary's hint last night that she would like to put her husband in "charge of revitalising the economy, because you know he knows how to do it," Bill confirmed the farce this morning, admitting he has asked for an "economic role" in his wife's adminstration. As Yves Smith so eloquently noted, after having institutionalized the neoliberal economic policies that have enriched the 1% and particularly the 0.1% at the expense of everyone else, Hillary Clinton wants to give the long-suffereing citizenry an even bigger dose. Good luck America.

Rents Set To Keep Rising After Depressed Multfamily Starts, Permits

The issue with today's housing starts and permits report, is the multi-family, aka rental units, barely rebounded and remained at severely depressed levels last seen in 2013: at 348K rental units permitted in April, this is a far cry from the recent highs of 598K in June. One wonders if this is intentional, because based on soaring asking rents, as shown in the chart below, with Americans increasingly unable or unwilling to buy single-family units, rental prices have exploded to 8% Y/Y based on Census data.

Consumer Prices Jump Most In Over 3 Years Amid Rising Gasoline, Rent Inflation

Headline CPI rose 0.4% MoM (above +0.3% exp) for the biggest jump since Feb 2013 but sadly at the same time, price-adjusted hourly wages slid 0.1% in April. Following a small drop in March, from 8 year highs, Core (ex food and energy) Consumer Prices rose 2.1% YoY (as expected) abesent the effect of Gasoline's huge 8.1% MoM surge. Of course this is probably transitory but we note that rent inflation remains at 3.7% YoY - its highest since 2008 and definitively not transitory.

Futures Fizzle After Oil Fades Bounce Above $48

It has been more of the same overnight, as global stocks piggybacked on the strong US close and rose despite the lack of good (or bad) macro news, propelled higher by the two usual suspects: a higher USDJPY and a even higher oil, if mostly early on in the trading session.

Oil Driller Hedges Soar To Five Year Highs

Oil producers and merchants increased their short position in WTI by 3.8% for the week ended May 10 to the highest since September 2011. As BLoomberg writes, "oil producers are taking advantage of the rebound in crude markets to lock in protection against another slump."  Energy companies from EOG Resources Corp. to Chesapeake Energy Corp. used financial instruments such as futures, swaps and collars to guard against another fall in prices. West Texas Intermediate oil, the benchmark U.S. crude, has gained more than 75 percent since hitting a 12-year low in mid-February.

Key US Macro Events In The Coming Week

After last week's key event, the retail sales number, which the market discounted as being too unrealistic (and overly seasonally adjusted) after printing at a 13 month high and attempting to refute the reality observed by countless retailers, this week has a quiet start today with no data of note due out of Europe and just Empire manufacturing (which moments ago missed badly) and the NAHB housing market index of note in the US session this morning.

The Endgame

There is a growing fear in financial and monetary circles that there is something deeply wrong with the global economy. Publicly, officials and practitioners alike have become confused by policy failures, and privately, occasionally even downright pessimistic, at a loss to see a statist solution. It is hardly exaggerating to say there is a growing feeling of impending doom. In short, growing evidence of price inflation and stagnant production can be expected to materially increase the risk of a global banking and currency meltdown. The best escape-route is ownership of anything other than purely financial assets and fiat currency deposits. No wonder the price of gold, which is the soundest of moneys, appears to have entered a new bull market.

Another Headline Head Fake - The Consumer Can't Save The U.S. Economy

At the end of the day, the seasonally maladjusted data for April retail sales amounts to no more than a swiggle in the larger trend. To wit, consumption spending financed by the growth of transfer payments and household borrowing is coming up hard against Peak Debt, while tepid growth in wage and salary income remains hostage to a domestic economy plagued with structural barriers to growth, an aging business cycle and a gathering global recession from which it is not remotely decoupled. So contrary to Reuters and its Keynesian quote standbys, it is not true that “the demise of the U.S. consumer have been greatly exaggerated”. Actually, it can be hardly exaggerated enough.

Drug Prices Soar Most In The 21st Century

While the 1998 Viagra "spike" came and went, in recent years, pharmaceutical preparation, i.e., drug prices have been soaring higher with every passing year, and according to today's PPI report, at the wholesale level, drug prices in April surged by 9.6% over the past year, the biggest increase since 1982 when excluding the Viagra outlier, and certainly the most in the 21st century.

Bloody Start To Friday The 13th For Global Markets

Global stocks have started Friday the 13th on the wrong foot, with not only Hong Kong GDP unexpectedly tumbling by 0.4%, the worst print in years while retail sales fell for a thirteenth straight month in March, the longest stretch since 1999 as the Chinese hard landing spreads to the wealthy enclave, but also following a predicted collapse in Chinese new loan creation, which will reverberate not only in China but around the globe in the coming weeks. The latest overnight drop in the Yuan hinted that should the recent USD strength continue, China will have no choice but to repeat its devaluation from last summer and winter. 

Futures Halt Selloff, Levitate Higher On Another USDJPY Spike; Oil Rises

If yesterday's selloff had a specific catalyst, namely some of the worst consumer retail earnings seen in years, it merely undid the Tuesday rally which levitated global risk with no fundamental driver, aside for a 200 pip spike in the USDJPY.  Some central bankers may even say it was a "magical" levitation. Fast forward to the overnight session when following a muted Asian session, it was once again up to the "magical" USDJPY to send stocks well into the green without any actual catalyst whatsoever, but what merely appears to have been another "magical" intervention session by the BOJ.